The time has come! The longest school holidays of the year are over and kids all over the country headed back to school this week. You may have already started back at work, are returning to work next week or preparing to return to the workforce after an extended period of leave. Whatever your situation, it can be an overwhelming time of mixed emotions that can leave you in a state of disorganisation and stress. Trust me, the dust will settle in a few weeks, the routines will have kicked in and you’ll be back to feeling somewhat human again! In the meantime, here are some tips to help you to ease back in to school life:
1. Plan ahead.
Lay out the clothes that they’ll need to wear (or get them to!) the night before so that you’re not scrambling around trying to look for socks on the way out of the door. Have the school shoes ready by the door too. Get the lunch box out and at the very least know what you’re going to put in it. If you’re organised enough then get the lunch packed for the next day, or for you super organised mums, have a week’s worth planned out in the freezer. Make sure you look in the school bags so there’s not anything nasty lurking in there! And get the kids to sort out their pencil cases and stationery.
2. Get back to your sleep schedule.
In the holidays you’re more relaxed with bed times, but now that the kids have to be up and ready a lot earlier you’ll need to go back to your ‘school time’ bedtime routines. Try to get them in bed at least 15-20 minutes earlier than they have been so it’s not too much of a shock.
3. Perfect the morning routine.
Discuss what the mornings will look like now that you’re back to school so that your kids know what’s expected of them, and you won’t need to be shouting orders like a sergeant major! Do you need them to brush their teeth and put their clothes on before or after breakfast? Whose role is it to do what task? If you have to, in the first few weeks, use a timer to get everyone out on time.
4. Set up a school station
If you have a bookshelf or set of drawers that is dedicated to school ‘stuff’ it’s less likely that something will go missing. You can have all the school information stored here, as well as lunch and/or excursion money, stationery, hair ties, you name it…
5. Take a few minutes for yourself
Whether it’s in the shower, or locking yourself in the toilet (let’s face it, we’ve all done it!), just try to give yourself a moment to breathe. There are some great meditation apps that you can get on your phone that will help you to focus your energy positively and they only need to take a few minutes. Make self-care part of your routine.
Hopefully these tips will help you to get the school term off to a good start. Good luck!